Monday, June 21, 2010

Pie in Germany?


Germans don't really do pie. It's funny that I've lived here a year and a half now and I just now noticed.

It came about because one of my neighbors had tried out a new recipe for rhubarb cake. While we were visiting, she gave us a couple of pieces to take home and try. During the conversation, I mentioned that my grandma always made a strawberry rhubarb pie that was always good.

That's where we had some communication problems. They didn't know what pie was. I tried to explain, but fear that I didn't do a very good job. Later, I asked my neighbor, Armin, upstairs, who speaks English very well about pie. Seems he didn't know what it was either. So I turned to my boss. She's American, but she's lived half her childhood and her whole adult life here in Germany. I learned that they some pie-like pastry with apple or cherry but it wasn't really pie.

So I got the bright idea to make a pie. As Armin says, the best way to describe something is to show it. As writers, we hear show, not tell. It was on.

I emailed my grandma and asked for her recipe, which she gladly gave. Then Saturday after work, I made 2 pies. One for the neighbors who gave us the cake. There are a lot of people in their household and I wanted them all to be able to try it. I made a second because hubby has never had it and I wanted to take some upstairs.

My neighbors called it kuchen, which means cake. When I look it up, it also says kuchen. There really is no pie in Germany. I felt fortunate to be able to share something new with my neighbors as they share so many new things with us.

What about you? Are you a pie lover? What's your favorite? Ever had strawberry rhubarb pie?

9 comments:

Kathy Martin said...

Strawberry-rhubarb is good but I like rhubarb-custard better. I think pies are great. I like that so many areas of the US have regional favorites. When I lived in a small town in western Minnesota, the pie of choice was Sour cream raisin. That one was new to me and too sweet for my tastes. Yay for pie!

Pamela Hearon said...

Plain rhubarb (with lots of sugar, of course:-) is my husband's favorite. I had never had it until I met him, and now it has become one of my favorites. Life w/o pie? I can't imagine:-)

Kathy Otten said...

My family is all German and my dad came over to America when he was a boy, but after all the family diners and conversations about Germany, I never knew they didn't have pie.

liana laverentz said...

I've had strawberry rhubarb pie, but all my relatives on my mother's side are German and no, they don't know pie.

Amber Green said...

My old favorite, for which I've lost the recipe, required two cups of buttermilk, maybe half a cup of sugar, some vanilla, some egg, some nutmeg. I think that was all. It made two pies.

Suzanne said...

Did they like the pie? I'm a Southerner, and we looove pie. And cobbler, which is a whole 'nother animal. I guess my favorite has to be pecan pie. And peach cobbler, served warm with ice cream. Okay, officially hungry now.

Rachel Lynne said...

Funny you wrote this post now, I was just telling my mother that I was craving a cherry pie! Peach pie would work as well :)
When I lived in Ohio I grew rhubarb and made rhubarb coffee cake, rhubarb pie, and chutney but the heat is too great for growing rhubarb in Savannah and what is offered in the grocery store is always limp and wilted so I haven't had it in years :(
Now you've made my mouth water!
PS: my husband had never had rhubarb until we moved to Ohio and he says it tastes like dirty feet smell!

Gale Stanley said...

Interesting. I thought pie was popular all over. Love it myself, but can't make a decent crust to save my soul.

Heather said...

I can't imagine life without pie. I especially like berry pies, but then there's always apple, pumpkin, coconut cream, chocolate... Germans don't know what they're missing! LOL

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